Almost Everyone Wins at the Spanish Lottery

January 25, 2011

Lotteries have two hundreds of years of history in Spain. El Gordo is the common name for the Spanish Christmas lottery. The English translation of the phrase is the fat one. The title reflects the big sum of money that can be won. The lottery itself is drawn each year simply before Christmas, on the 22nd December, it has the biggest prize of any lottery in the planet!

Whilst Spain spends much more per head~ on betting than anyplace else in the globe it is not due to the fact they are habitual gamblers but merely that the Chistmas lottery is a custom in which the complete country partakes!

The Spanish Christmas Lottery is a national lottery game arranged every year since 1812. The name Sorteo de Navidad was used for the first time in 1892. In 2006, if all of the tickets were sold, the total amount payout of prizes would be worth more than €2.142 billion.

Since December 18, 1812, the Christmas Lottery drawings are held corresponding to exactly the same technique each year. In the National Lottery Hall of Madrid, pupils of the San Ildefonso school pick the numbers and available prizes and they sing the results in a loud voice in front of the public. On the morning of the 22nd of December every single year Spain pretty much comes to a halt and the typical noise and chatter is replaced by the sound of children singing. The state-owned Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España and other media broadcast the total draw. The public partaking the event are commonly dressed in lottery-related clothes and hats.

Small wood balls are picked from two huge golden cages. The larger one consists of all the probable numbers from 00001 – 85,000  from the draw, and the smaller the actual prizes they win. So a number is picked, and then the prize that number wins. The two-vessels technique was the classic one in Spanish lottery, but at present is only used in the Christmas special lottery. The rest of the weekly and special draws during the year use five vessels with ten balls each, from where the five figures of the winning number are drawn.

Read more interesting articles in our villas Spain blog.

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